Engage and inspire your team with collaborative online meetings
With more and more teams returning to the office hybrid working environments are still very much here to stay. Therefore, using online tools is not just proving to be a ‘nice to have’ or a plan b but the only way in which teams can continue to effectively hold meetings and communicate.
Leaders are keen to get people back into a room to collaborate to improve morale and ensure that workplace culture doesn’t take a hit. However, the reality is that many workers are still away from offices and their need to collaborate is bigger now than ever.
We’re coming off the back of months and months of turmoil and change. The reality is if we wait until we’re all back in the office we’re missing a big opportunity.
This is an article I wrote back in 2020 on my LinkedIn Profile.
It was inspired by many organisations grappling with what online tools were available to help teams collaborate. Why is this so important in times of change?
Collaboration (if done well) helps teams work in a way that is supportive and it also helps teams come to solutions much faster than if they were to work alone or in silos. Working in silos is the fastest way to set up an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ culture where competitiveness can become toxic and making decisions can be overwhelming.
The need for collaboration is a must and in uncertain times its a necessity. It’s never a nice to do, team building exercise.
To get collaborating online here is my best online collaborative tools of 2020. All of which are still relevant today in 2022.
It’s challenging times with many organisations grappling with the pace of change and putting in place new policies and procedures around the COVID-19. Those encouraging or enforcing team members work from home means they are now working with increasingly dispersed teams. Add to this the isolation of employees who have recently travelled we are looking at some quiet offices around town. (Que the tumbleweed).
The need for dispersed teams to maintain high levels of communication is nothing new. This need has been around long before COVID-19 and let’s face it anyone here in WA has at some time worked for an organisation that is dispersed across our 10,194 km coastline but the need to connect online has never been higher than right now.
IBM conducted a survey which stated about 60% of CEOs cited creativity as the most important leadership quality yet when we look at our meeting structures there often dedicated to sifting through tasks and tick lists. How much time are you dedicating to improving your team’s creativity to solve problems? Are you using tools to help them be more visual and collaborative. Creativity is a business asset.
We’ve got to get stuff done, why invest time in creative thought?
By promoting creativity, you heighten the engagement of your team. More engaged team members deliver better productivity and better outcomes for your customers, resulting in increases in revenue. All of this is supported in Gallup’s article on Fostering Creativity at Work.
Keep your team connected and collaborating with these online tools. Free online tool to help you make your meetings more visual.
If you’re just getting started with an online tool Idea Flip has an incredibly simple user interface that allows you to display brainstorming ideas and move them around quickly and easily. You can upload PDF’s and images and if your working on developing a website or making changes to your site you can take screen shots to communicate what you want with your creative team. You can export all your work from the session and there’s an option for feedback. It’s a simple web app but does come with a small subscription cost.
Has a range of templates to help you with everything from strategic planning to collaborative brainstorming. There’s a huge range of templates in here that you can pick and choose from and you can see your colleagues commenting and adding their notes live. The work is then exportable.
Some of the templates like the customer journey mapping templates are a little simplistic so you’ll need to explore the templates and see if it meets the requirements of what you’re working on.
If you want to compare Miro to something similar you can check out Mural which is very similar.
Again, there’s a bunch of templates to search through from empathy mapping, customer journey templates to business model templates and even change management templates. However, for free users you’ll find some templates are locked which requires a subscription.
Stormboard is free for up to 5 users (with free trials for more users) and available across all devices. There is a range of templates to select from depending on your needs. If you’re an Agile team you’ve got your daily stand up available and a Kanban board. You can also any export of the templates to PDF, PowerPoint or word so you can take a snapshot in time then continue working on your project.
Tips for getting started ….. If you want to read the rest of this article for some more tips on how to get started with these online tools visit Liv By Design
Stay calm, stay connected and stay creative!